Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Disneyland 1957: Tomorrowland & Frontierland





Today I've posted two excerpts from a great 1957 home movie of Disneyland in Anaheim. Our intrepid Phoenix correspondent, Greg Ottinger, found this footage in a thrift shop and mailed me the reel. Today's clips look at Tomorrowland and Frontierland as they appeared very early in the park's history. Both feature many long-extinct attractions. The Tomorrowland segment includes rare color footage of a very short-lived attraction: The Viewliner train. I'll post more segments of this film in the future.
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I added the audio to this footage, which was originally silent. The vacation footage also included trips to Marineland and the Grand Canyon.
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By the way, don't forget tomorrow's Orange County Historical Society meeting in Orange.

18 comments:

CoxPilot said...

You referenced these film clips as "home movies". (Great to see those again, by the way) However; they were shown on Wonderful World of Disney to promote the park. I remember them well, and they were sold at the park as souvenirs. That's Walt himself narrating.

Chris Jepsen said...

I don't think so. The audio was from Disney. But I added that myself. The film here is grainy 8mm (obviously silent, based on the era) and features the same family visiting Disneyland, Marineland, and the Grand Canyon. There's also footage of them backing their trailer out of their garage (probably in Arizona). The same family is sprinkled thorughout this footage, and a lot of it is pretty jerky and poorly shot. I edited it down to just portions of the best bits.

If this wasn't a home movie, it was VERY convincingly shot to LOOK exactly like a home movie.

Anonymous said...

What does the Marineland footage look like?

Chris Jepsen said...

The Marineland footage is mostly of the shows, with the dolphins, sea lions, and one whale doing tricks. There's also some footage of penguins, the Palos Verdes coast, the parking lot, and a few shots of the family wandering around the grounds. I wish there was more to give you a sense of the buildings, but it's a little sparse in that department. There are some shots of their trailer at the beach, just to show the folks back home that they made it ALL the way to the coast. If there's enough interest, maybe I'll edit and post some of the Marineland footage too -- even though it isn't Orange County.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Chris for the response. I sure loved Marineland and miss that place very much. My prediction is that the Terranea resort will fail, due to the coming economic crash and the huge saturation of hotels that now exists. If Terranea failed and miraculously got torn down do you think rebuilding Marineland could become an option? I know for a fact that the original architectural blueprints still exist. What kind of an impact would it have on the population in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas, them seeing a long-lost Southern California landmark return for the first time ever? What kind of media coverage would the reopening of Marineland of the Pacific receive? How big would the nostalgia factor be among those who remember it? How much enthusiasm would Marineland generate, especially if new attractions were added to go along with all the old ones?

I wonder what the answers to all these questions would be?

Even though it was located in Los Angeles County, Marineland has a connection to Orange County history because of the large number of Orange County residents who went there, and the fond memories nearly all of them have as a result.

Matterhorn1959 said...

Hey Chris- who transferred the film to digital? They did a nice job.

Chris Jepsen said...

Nice job?

Heh. I took a cheap old projector (the only one I own), projected the film onto white tagboard, and shot the image with an old analog camcorder. Then I plugged the camcorder into my PC and converted it to digital. I edited it down and added the audio using the Windows Movie Maker software that came with my PC.

I'm KNOW there are much better ways to do this, but I could *afford* this method.

Most of the shakiness of the film comes from the projector.

Capt. Tomorrow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Capt. Tomorrow said...

coxpilot: As the intrepid correspondent in Phoenix, I can assure that the footage is a home movie. I picked up the film at a thrift store for a buck; it was in a film tin and the owner had taped an index on the inside. As Chris mentions, he added the audio himself.

Brian said...

Thanks for taking all the time to share this. Killer job with adding the audio too.

outsidetheberm said...

The Frontierland footage is especially remarkable. Two views rarely seen: Footage of the river from the Indian War Canoes POV followed by footage from the train as we cross the backside of the Indian Village looking East - an angle we seldom see. Thanks so much.

Biblioadonis aka George said...

Wow...

Thanks for sharing these and thanks for all of the work you needed to do, Chris, in order to transfer them!

itsnotaplace said...

Wow! you did go through a lot to get that transfered Chris! Thanks for taking the time to do it. That was a fun look into the past.

CoxPilot said...

Well I was sure fooled. Great footage. I'm impressed with the quality considering the method used to produce the digital. I have some old 8 mm stuff (and still have my projector from the '60s, and it works), and it's inspired me to try the same.

Chris Jepsen said...

Great! Hopefully you'll find some cool stuff for show-and-tell in your own film collection. I'm looking forward to seeing it!

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

NICE WORK Chris! I have 4 100ft reels of Summer 1959 home movies in vivid 16mm Kodachrome, but I have held off transfering then due the cost. But hey, I'm going to your method! Thanks for taking the time to make these!

Chris Jepsen said...

I can only hope I've created a monster here! (Let's EVERYBODY digitize their movies!) I hope we'll all get to see some of these interesting bits of the past once you get them digitized!

I've found that Flikr is a great way to share movies at a somewhat higher resolution than you usually get with YouTube. It seems to work best with short clips of about one and a half minutes. You can get a free account with quite a bit of storage, or you can get a "pro" account with unlimited storage for about $24 a year. So far, I'm a happy camper.

Viewliner Ltd. said...

Great shot of the Viewliner In the TL movie. Always my favorite. Thanks Chris.